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How to change the default user profile location in Windows Server 2008 R2 Std. VMWARE Virtual Machine

Posted on 2012-04-04
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Last Modified: 2012-04-16
I'm having a problem changing the location of the logged in users profile. I'm installing Windows Server 2008 R2 in a virtual machine and having a few issues. The main OS is installed on a default 40 GB virtual hard drive. I want the user profile to be installed on separate virtual 4GB hard drive which the Main OS sees. The 4GB virtual hard drive is not assigned a drive location but a file path such as "C:\home\myuser\profile". I have made these changed in Server 2008 but when i login using the users profile it creates a temporary profile in the default profile location assigned to server 2008 which i believe is "C:\users\myuser". I have used the computer management tool inside of Server 2008 to change the default profile location but it just doesn't take it. It always loads some temporary profile. Is there anyway to correct this issue?

Thanks
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Question by:tbalz
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Expert Comment

by:l33tf0b
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You may need to delete the old profile from the registry.  Make a copy / export of the registry before making changes.  Please backup a copy of the profile folder somewhere.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList

Search there for the profile you renamed or deleted and delete the folder. Reboot the computer and it should work again.
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by:tbalz
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It looks like when i changed the default location of the profile from %SYSTEM Files%\users to C:\home it locked me out of the profile saying i can't be logged in. Is there anything else i can try?
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Darius Ghassem earned 500 total points
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Author Comment

by:tbalz
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Hi Thanks for the help but it did not seem to help. When I changed it, all the system did was log me in with a temporary profile just like before. Any other ideas?
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Author Comment

by:tbalz
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I don't understand why every time i change the location of the profile, the location change but the user files are not saved to the user's folder. A new folder is created called temp with a small gold lock insignia. I have no idea what is going on. Anyone have any idea how i can change this behavior?
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by:tbalz
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So i have a mounted volume in the location c:\home which is a separate drive without a drive letter. I just can't seem to load the profile to that location. I've modified the registry to point to the location but it doesn't save inside my mounted volume.
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by:Darius Ghassem
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If you change to a different location does it work? I'm wondering if the problem is the mounted drive
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Author Comment

by:tbalz
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i haven't tried that but will give it a shot
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by:tbalz
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Looks like the different location works but it does not help me at the moment. I need the files to be on the mounted volume. Do mounted volumes prevent user profiles to be installed to them?
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by:Darius Ghassem
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I guess that is the issue. I remember having the same problem before but I don't remember what the outcome was. I think I created another drive then moved the profiles to the other drive
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by:tbalz
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The problem is that the drive is a virtual drive created in VMWARE which im using as a mounted partition. Do they automatically have permissions which prevent the system to use them for saving user profiles?
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by:Darius Ghassem
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I'm trying to remember the outcome. You can add the virtual drive as another partition as well.

Check the permissions on the drive see if  these are properly setup
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Author Comment

by:tbalz
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I have it working just fine in Server 2003 I just don't know how I can transfer that over to Server 2008?
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by:Darius Ghassem
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Did you check the permissions?

I know 2003 works without issue if you have permissions properly set but Windows 2008 Server I know I had problems with it.
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by:tbalz
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Yea i changed the permissions to all.
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by:tbalz
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What folder needs the permissions? The user folder inside C:\users\?
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by:tbalz
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Yea no matter what i do, it always says "Your Profile Did not Load Correctly" at login. All permissions have been set to full control for system and all users
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Expert Comment

by:Darius Ghassem
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I'm going to have to try in my test system tomorrow to see if I can figure this out. I can't for the life of me remember what I had to do if I was even able too.
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Author Comment

by:tbalz
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I would really appreciate it. The harder I try the more harder it gets to figure out what the problem is.
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by:tbalz
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Do you know if the event viewer would anyway show what the issue may be?
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Assisted Solution

by:tbalz
tbalz earned 0 total points
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I figured it out! You have to delete the actual folder. For example you can't assign the mounted volume to C:\home\NewUser1. Instead you have to assign the volume to the location C:\home\ and then create a new use with any name. In this case NewUser then login as that user. Then login as admin and go into the registry to the location:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList

and delete sid and state the bottom two properties of NewUser1. Once this is done and you login as the user. The new user profile will be created on the mounted volume.
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Author Comment

by:tbalz
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I had to keep trying different options inside of the profile until it finally worked out. The other users put me on the right track but it wasn't the exact solution I needed.
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Expert Comment

by:Darius Ghassem
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Ahh. Glad you got it
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Author Closing Comment

by:tbalz
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I had to keep trying different options inside of the profile until it finally worked out. The other users put me on the right track but it wasn't the exact solution I needed.
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